apples and pumpkins and cider, oh my!

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So, I’m a bit enthusiastic about the holidays. And when I say a bit, I mean a lot. I seem to be the only one amongst my friends, so I entice them over with football and pizza and chocolate caramel apples, so I can at least have people around while I carve a pumpkin.

This past Saturday I made a dozen chocolate-caramel apples. If you know anything about me, you must know I have a very serious addiction to chocolate, and I strongly believe that if you add chocolate to just about anything, it makes it infinitely times better. Thus, I make chocolate-caramel apples and not just caramel apples. I doubled a Betty Crocker recipe (below) and chopped up Snickers and Reese’s Pieces as toppings (side note: make sure you crush your candies very small…my first attempt at a Snickers topped apple was a disaster, to say the least. The Snickers pieces were so large…see below…they dragged the chocolate caramel down). Anyway, the ratio of chocolate vs. caramel vs. water is very important. A couple years ago I didn’t follow a recipe, and the apples came out rock hard.

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Chocolate-Caramel Apples (from Betty Crocker)

*6 wooden skewers

*6 medium apples

*1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

*2 tbsp water

*1 package (14 oz) caramel candies

1) Insert skewers into each apple. Prepare your crushed toppings and put them in separate bowls.

2) Heat chocolate chips, water, and caramel over low heat, stirring continuously, until candies are melted and mixture is smooth. Keep over very low heat and continue to stir.

3) Dip each apple into mixture and spoon mixture over apple until coated. Twirl apple in a bowl of crushed candies. Place on wax paper.

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It’s very important that your chocolate-caramel mix stays over low heat. You don’t want it to cool off and harden, and you also don’t want it to start boiling and burning. For easy clean up, we poured the leftover mixture into a small cake pan lined with wax paper. We threw it away once it hardened. Then we filled our pot with water to soak because you don’t want any leftover chocolate-caramel to ruin your pot.

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I prepped these apples before the “party” and then sat down to carve a pumpkin while we had the UT football game on TV. I chose to carve a cat (I’m not a cat person), but this one looked like the Cheshire Cat to me, and, we all know my other obsession (or one of many) is Alice in Wonderland. It took me quite a white to scoop out the guts, but last year my pumpkin molded so quickly, I wanted to make sure it was super clean inside. We also had spiced apple cider on hand because hey, it’s autumn.

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The UT football game ended up being delayed half way through for about three hours, so we pulled out Pictionary again and finally completed a game. The boys won, but UT won also!

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Side note: I seriously need to find people with the same affinity for holidays/crafts/treats as me. Or else I’ll have to wait until I have children and force them to do all these things with me. 😉 At least our neighbor was nice enough to carve one with me.

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I’ll be back this afternoon with a super easy little craft project to add some fall color to your home.

-wonderland sam

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actress/texan kickin' it in los angeles. always searching for my next pizza. cia agent in another life.

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